SEATTLE (AP) — Justin Meram scored in the final minute of second-half stoppage time, lifting the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.
Meram's winning score was set up by Federico Higuain's corner kick. The ball went beyond the top of the penalty area to Meram, who drilled a 25-yarder into the back right corner past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
The Crew (3-0-0) have won their first three games for the first time in the club's 19-year history.
"I was just lucky enough that the play happened," said Meram, who entered in the 89th minute. "(Higuain) is one of the best players in the league. He recognized it, played it to me, I saw an opening and just went for it."
"I practice that shot a lot - to be honest, maybe too much," Meram added. "But it paid off tonight."
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid wondered aloud if the final play should have been stopped.
"Usually, the referee positions himself outside the 18 when a corner kick is taken. I rarely see a referee's position almost inside the 6-yard box, so it looked like he was talking to our players," Schmid said. "And if you're talking to our players, why do you let the ball get played?
"If you're going to talk to one of our players then you got to stop the play. But that doesn't make an excuse for us for falling asleep and still more players need to pay attention there so we don't get caught."